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The Xiaomi Watch 2 is an impressively affordable new Pixel Watch 2 rival


If you’re in the market for a new smartwatch or fitness tracker, Xiaomi has just revealed a trio of temptingly-priced options – including the mid-range Watch 2, which was leaked earlier this month.

The three new wearables are the Xiaomi Watch 2, Watch S3, and Smart Band 8 Pro, all of which have been available in China for a while. But they’ve all now been given a worldwide launch, with the Watch 2 in particular looking like a compelling alternative to the Google Pixel Watch 2.

A more affordable version of Xiaomi’s own Watch 2 Pro, the Watch 2 is powered by a Snapdragon W5 Plus Gen 1 chip and runs Wear OS. That means it comes with a generous helping of Google apps, including Google Maps and Google Wallet, plus the ability to download third-party ones from the Play Store. 

The Watch 2’s AMOLED screen is slightly larger than the Pixel Watch 2’s, with the 1.43-inch display having a resolution of 466 x 466 pixels. Xiaomi’s watch also has a larger battery (495mAh, compared to the Pixel Watch 2’s 306mAh cell), which gives it a claimed 65-hour battery life.

Like the Pixel Watch 2, the Xiaomi Watch 2 goes big on sports and health tracking. Its combination of a new heart-rate sensor and dual-band GPS means it promises to be a pretty solid sports tracker (Xiaomi says it has 160 different sports modes) and it’ll monitor your sleep, too. 

The Xiaomi Watch 2’s price is £169 / €199, with US and Australia pricing to be confirmed (though it’s available at some US retailers for $189). That means it’s around half the price of the Pixel Watch 2, which starts at $349 / £349 / AU$549, and there are even early offers in some regions like the UK that take its price down further (to £149).

While the Watch 2 is probably the most interesting of Xiaomi’s new trio, the Watch S3 and Smart Band 8 Pro could also attract budget-conscious wearable fans. The Watch S3 runs the company’s HyperOS rather than WearOS, and starts at £129 / €149 (around $165 / AU$250). 

The Smart Band 8 Pro, meanwhile, is a basic fitness tracker with a 1.74-inch AMOLED display that costs just £59 / €69 (around $75 / AU$115). It’ll be aiming to take on the best cheap fitness trackers, like the Fitbit Inspire 3.

Too good to be true?

The Xiaomi Watch 2 on a green background

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Our guide to the best smartwatches is dominated by Samsung, Google, and Apple, with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 and Google Pixel Watch 2 our picks for fans of Android and WearOS. 

But both of those watches are premium wearables and the Xiaomi Watch 2 could be an attractive mid-range option for those on a tighter budget. It may lack LTE connectivity and have a case that’s made from aluminum, rather than the stainless steel of the Watch 2 Pro, but it’s otherwise packed with features.

Still, it’ll certainly be worth waiting for our full review before committing. Our reviews of previous Xiaomi smartwatches, like the Watch S1 Pro, have noted that their tracking isn’t always as accurate as some rivals, while reports on the likes of Reddit have noted software bugs with the Mi Fitness app and the watch’s WearOS skin.

So while the Watch 2’s price tag and spec sheet certainly do look tempting compared to the premium options from Samsung and Google, we’ll be reserving judgment until we’ve given one a proper test.

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